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Sudden Birth

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Sudden Birth

Published 1967

This film was made to instruct police officers on the basics of childbirth and to show them an actual birth - mostly so they wouldn't panic or pass out when confronted with such a scenario. WARNING! The poor acting by actual police officers and doctors and low production values in this film make the live birth scene even more shocking than others from this genre.

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Run time 22:07
Production Company Golden State Film
Sponsor California Peace Officers Assn
Audio/Visual sound, color
Contact Information This film comes from the A/V Geeks archive. For more information regarding this film and the archive, visit <a href=""></a>


Reviewer: JayKay49 - - January 24, 2016
Subject: I Can Just Imagine Them Showing This Film... the pudgy metro boyettes in police training today. Oh well...they'd have their noses buried in their iphones anyway. So what's a little blood.
Reviewer: capri1955 - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 6, 2013
Subject: Oh. My. Lord.
If ever there was a film making women look TOTALLY clueless, this has GOT to be it. Having had a BAD experience with a hospital birth in 73, I went on to have 2 home births. Both of my home births were considered to be "high risk", & I had been told I could not have a natural birth baby over 7 pounds. Well, my daughter was 10lbs5&1/2oz. My last baby was a footling breech, & in today's litigious society was ILLEGAL to home birth. What this movie shows is that by 1966, women were fully convinced by the AMA that they couldn't POSSIBLY birth a baby outside a hospital or without a doctor. Some people find this movie amusing, I find it infuriating. Especially since in 2013 women are more than EVER convinced they can't do this without interventions. This accounts for the horrid rate of c-sections ever climbing. Yet, in America, where we know SO much, our infant/mother stats for survival are closer to a 3rd world country. There IS indeed a lot to learn from this movie. It's really a testament to what went wrong & what will keep getting worse the more we forget our innate capabilities. And MAN! Why did that dude NOT put the baby on the mothers chest? They made it look like she was such an invalid she couldn't even hold him! And too, the open legs shots were WAY to many & too long. Sheesh. Anyone see "Birth" in Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life"? Perfect depiction. PERFECT.
Reviewer: Rooftopjump - favorite - July 13, 2012
Subject: Hamming it down
No Oscar winners here and pardon us for making a such a mess of your back seat. At least the interior lights of cars then were operating theatre bright.
Reviewer: Tprof - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 21, 2012
Subject: More Real Than Real
Educational movies for US officers in the Sixties were really tough!
I wonder: how were the movies that explained how to deal with a serial killer???
Reviewer: blakta2 - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 5, 2011
Subject: I forgot one other thing
junya, you are mean and horrible as well.
Reviewer: iwerksub - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 26, 2011
Subject: hot480277 is an asshole
you're an asshole. didja hear me?
Reviewer: hot480277 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 6, 2011
Subject: WTF, junya?
You have to be kidding. What on earth would possess you to gon on such a feminazi rant? I'm sure everything you posted is EXACTLY what the producers of this film were thinking back in '66. Or...

Maybe they really were trying to show the process of childbirth and some basic techniques for keeping calm during a stressful situation (especially with a panicing bystander).

Take your bra out of the fire and get over yourself.

Oh, and the movie was pretty good.
Reviewer: junya - - December 18, 2010
Subject: Birth: don't try this at home, kids!
Here's a movie with a message.

Ladies, obey this: a birth is best handled by a doctor (man). But if you can't get a doctor, then step back and let the police (man) do his job.

DON'T call a woman, like your neighbor, to do a man's job. She will not keep calm. She will be scared, get a flat tire, nag the man doing the job, overreact, then fish for compliments.

Woman at a birth: silly and frightened. Policeman at a birth: terrific.

How did humanity survive before we had robotic-voiced police/doctors to deliver babies, and had to rely on midwives, relatives, or neighbors - those silly frightened women? Wouldn't it make more sense to provide this training to the community (who will be there when needed) than diverting police from their job of upholding power and superiority through force?
Reviewer: noseachusma - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2010
Subject: WOW!
Now THAT is a startling little gem! First I gasped, then I giggled like an adolescent!

Most importantly, I am in no way UNclear about what to do at a Sudden Birth!
Reviewer: doowopbob - favorite - February 26, 2010
Subject: Do Your Homework!
Geeze..........The Whole Film Is A Set -Up.............Read End Credit Folks........The "Officer" Who Delivered Baby Was A Doctor Wearing A Police Uniform!........She Was "Prepped" Prior To Filming..Car Was Probably In Back Lot Of Hospital..The Whole Thing Was Planned Out In Advance....The Dumbing Down Of America Is, Sadly Alive & Well....On This Site Anyway.... You Can Fool Some Of The People, Some Of The Time.........But Here It's No Contest! Thinking Is A Lost Cause..People Just Want To Babble On Without Getting The Facts.............Must Be Mostly Republicans I Guess!.......And Some Of You Need To Get Your G.E.D....It's Never Too Late!....Just Think....You Will Be Able To Move Out Of Your Trailer!..Somnii Your A JERK..!
Reviewer: marionmedic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 29, 2009
Subject: Good film for it's day.
I think it was great for the year it was made.
In fact, these officers would have been excellent candidates for the Paramedics program that came into being in the 70's.
I think a lot of people forget that we have only had Ambulances with TRAINED people on them since 1970's.
Before that, it was hit or miss if you would live all the way to the hospital.
Reviewer: Pastiche - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 3, 2009
Subject: That baby's cooling off fast!
Everyone, including the mother, seems oblivious to the fact that the newborn is totally uncovered. Having just come out of the very warm and cozy womb, he's still wet, cooling off rapidly, and in danger of hypothermia. Sheesh. I'm giving this five stars for amusement value.
Reviewer: jonel469 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 27, 2008
Subject: Keep Calm
Wow,where to begin?First I liked how when Officer Bob left the police station he was in a '64 Impala and in the next shot he's in a Ford.Neat trick Bob!He's a cop,no he's a doctor,no he's a magician!Guess there was no money in the budget for continunity just as there was no money in the budget for sound editing.And then we meet dear officer Chuck."First you conquer your own fear , and then you you have it!,by calming her,making her comfortable.You ask her to remove her underclothes,You've already asked for the ambulance,and natures about to take it's course.From there on it's mostly what You don't ,not what You do.You don't interfere with a natural sequence of events".For a second there I didn't know if Chuck was talking about assisting a live birth or some of my dates.Next I liked how Linda reacted when Bob asks how Ann is doing."I'm scared,I didn't think,oh why did I get a flat tire".Me Me Me it's all about Me,forget about ann who's in LABOR!Then Bob sticks his head into the back and asks Ann how she's doing and she just looks at him and says nothing.Good thing for Bob it wasn't my wife or they would have needed a sound editor!Bob pulls off another neat trick after moving his crusier.He gets out and asks Linda "How is she,what's the situation?" Gee Bob haven't you figured that out by now? Anyway Linda is on the right side of the back door, then in the next shot she has been transported to the left side of the back door.Oh that Bob! Even in an emergency he can still slip in a little prestidigitation. Ann has the baby and everything comes out alright,then Officer Pete shows up.When Bob tells Pete that the cord hasn't been cut, Pete tells Bob "Now remember thats not your job Bob,lets take a look now".And he does, pronouncing that "everything looks shipshape!"Poor Ann, first she goes into labor at night when her husband is god only knows where,then apparently her only way to the hospital is getting a ride from her unthinking self-centered neighbor, in her piece of junk plymouth with bald tires, which gets a flat,Wherein she gives birth with the help of magician/doctor/cop/wannabe actor Officer Bob!But hey at least she has the Officer Pete seal of approval!Pete procedes to have Bob cut the cord even though he just told him that it wasn't his job.Anyone else confused? Handing Bob a plastic bag for the placenta Pete informs us that the doctor will "examine it and can tell if all of it came out and other things I guess." Thanks Pete that is very helpful information.But Pete is a helpful guy,he hands Bob a pad and tells him to put it between her legs like a santairy napkin.I have to assume that Pete knows that Bob has had a lot of experience helping women with thier kotex and will know exactly what to do.Finally we get to the hospital and meet the doctor,except he isn't a doctor.The consultation scene is so bizarre it's sublime in it's absurdity.A cop that is not a cop but a doctor speaking with a doctor that is not a doctor but what?,an unemployed actor?Can't tell from the credits, just gives his real name.Then having the doctor that's not a doctor telling the cop that is a doctor that it's probably better not to cut the cord after all! OMG you can't write this stuff, or maybe you can since Marena Skibo is credited as script supervisor.If there was a script supervisor then there must have been a script and they weren't making it up as they weny along.All in all so bad it's good and you have to give lots of credit to Ann(Andrea Lajoie) for having the guts to make this film in 1966.
Reviewer: scanner-michael-greenlee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 25, 2008
Subject: Backseat
Just making sure, but no one thinks she was *actually* in the backseat of car, do they? She's on a black table with white props around her made to look like the interior. Then it cuts to exterior shots, filmed who knows when.
Reviewer: Dr_Dugong - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 7, 2008
Subject: I thought it all was real!
I adore every aspect of this film. From the poorly planned harsh lighting to the sheer awkward discomfort, this film is a gem.
Thank the gods we have doowopbob to set us straight and give life changing advice concerning an obscure ephemeral film no gives a serious thought to. Keep looking out for us and pointing out inaccurate opinions on meaningless subjects. The douchebag can't even format his statements in a rational manner.
Reviewer: EricJ - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 30, 2008
Subject: Think of volunteering to have a baby for this film!
The woman who had the baby in this film should be congratulated for her sacrifice of service!
4 stars for Mom!
Reviewer: somnii - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 12, 2007
Subject: bad acting, good film
Poor dowopbob is still reeling over the "Tooth Fairy Conspiracy"! Should we believe it was common practice that one policeman and a camera crew were driving around for months, or years, on end for just the chance that they would find a woman going into labor so they could catch it on film: that's dumb! Of course the cop was actually a doctor; I wouldn't call the police to give me a flu-shot either. That was a real birth caught on film, a pretty amazing thing when you "think" about it. The only bad part about the film was the acting and the shape the film was in, and that's most of the fun of watching things like this. Oh, and BTW, it was common practice to shave EVERY ONE prior to most major medical procedures.
Reviewer: Mewster - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 4, 2007
Subject: An Observation
I see someone was into shaving in the 60s
Reviewer: rpaul - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 22, 2006
Subject: Additional remarks
When I wrote the notes, below, I had not yet re-viewed this film since even before it was released in 1966. Now, however, I have done so:

I note that the producer's name is John Siegle (although I believe I only saw his credit listed as a cameraman).

I note my mom's credit (Marena Skibo -- her maiden name) was without specifics.
Reviewer: silvertwinz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 21, 2006
Subject: hmmmmmm.....
this was such a strange film. the sound is edited badly and it sounds as if the voice over is hiccupping. i felt sorry for the mother. she had a firecracker to explode her water sack. and the birth, well, seemed easy and neat and clean. not like a normal birth. just remember to KEEP CALM...keep calm...keep calm...
Reviewer: 78speed - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 28, 2006
Subject: The Horror
Notice: This will change (scar) you forever- for better or worse. When I showed this to a friend of mine, she was screaming in bloody horror and she vowed never to have children. I agree though that this film serves its purpose very well. Very educational. After viewing this more than once, entertaining/warping friends, I feel I would be able to "stay calm" and "receive" a baby.

Besides the REAL birth scene, the film is quite entertaining. Is it odd that the 'actress' is still spread eagle when the other cop pops his head in the car to say hello? The actors struggling with the script is hilarious. Also, the overall imagery (the classic cars and vintage dispatch controls) are quite aesthetically appealing.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 3, 2006
Surely among the weirdest films one will get to see, ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂSudden BirthÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ tells of how a cop delivered his first baby, whose mother just happened to be parked off the road with her friend / bad actress. Now as you probably know, we get to see the actual birth, but what you probably donÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt know, and this fact sets this film into sheer bizarreness is that this appears to be a fiction film and the birth was, well, a plot point, as we follow the officer deliver the baby using the techniques he learned earlier. More help arrive to get the little lizard (as Bill Cosby once stated) out, and again, you can totally tell that this birth, a real birth mind you, was staged for the camera. SO, uhhh, how did THAT happen? Did they have auditions? And whatÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs with the baby resting on the bask seat of the car close to the momÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs vagina while theyÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂre cleaning her out? IsnÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt it better to get him AWAY from this?
This is a film with a backstory just WAITING to be discovered, where is Andrea Lajoie and Timothy Lajoie now?
Reviewer: einnocent - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 18, 2005
Subject: Go Berkeley PD!
I thought they were only good for busting up parties. And thanks to the actress (?) for shaving beforehand.
Reviewer: Mr. Willie - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 10, 2005
Subject: Oh my Lord...
I'll agree with the prior reviewer. I'd wonder how that baby would like seeing his own birth in the "back" of a classic car...This is by all means an odd movie; important training video of course, but in a weird sense, well ahead of its time.
Reviewer: MediaWhore - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 2, 2005
Subject: And then the water broke!
Wow!! This is the real deal for sure!! Very graphic footage filmed up close and personal of a pregnant woman spittin out a baby in the back seat of her car. I want to know what went on behind the scenes here and how this woman came to be in this film (did they offer her more money than she could refuse or was she just a good samaritan who wanted to help educate police officers in the birthing of babies outside hospitals).
I saw "The Miracle of Birth" back in Jr. High but this film clearly blows it out of the water (further out of the water than when this ladies water breaks, watch the film you'll see what I mean).
Reviewer: Lisa MW - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 3, 2005
Subject: Informative
I have seen several films on birth and this one was as clear as any I've seen. Great Advice!
Reviewer: sonnet29 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 28, 2004
Subject: A Must see! (Well, maybe not...)
Before today, the only sexual act that I had not witnessed on video or on my computer was the act of giving birth, from a biological standpoint the most important act of all. As a dedicated student of human sexuality (aren't we all?) I wanted to see it.

However, the remarkable thing about this film is not that it merely features a live birth, but that it features a live birth in the back of an old 1950's automobile. Think about that for a moment... for the sake of educating police officers on handling an emergency birth, or perhaps because they paid her, or maybe cause she couldn't afford to go to the hospital, this courageous young woman consented to give birth to her son in the back seat of a car, surrounded by cameras and movie lights. I suspect that the automobile had been modified to function as a movie prop, with the windshield removed and the roof cut away. I'd love to know more about this woman, and her baby, who would be around 39 years old by now. Did the boy ever get to see the footage of his own birth? I have to assume that this wasn't her first child.

I have a friend who is a doula-- she assists women during birth, devoting all her attention to making them comfortable-- and I intend to reccomend this film to her. It seems to me that this would be a great thing to show any woman who is expecting her first child, and is apprehensive. Being a male, this is all pretty hypothetical for me, but it seems to me that if I were a woman in that situation, seeing a woman successfully (and voluntarily) give birth in the back seat of a car would be a great confidence builder. I'd be interested to find out what my friend would think about that.

I think this film succeeds wonderfully on its own terms. That is, if I were a policeman, I would feel much more prepared to handle this kind of emergency after seeing this short. It also succeeds for someone who might encouter this film on the net, and is either curious about childbirth or loves a weird vintage educational film. Ideally, I would give it four and a half stars, but since half stars are not an option here, and the last reviewer gave it such a low rating, I'm gonna give it a straight-up five!
Reviewer: cpt_mocha - favoritefavorite - September 23, 2004
Subject: OH MY.....
They weren't kidding about a live birth scene, and a long one at that! It all happens in the back seat of a car and the cop does all the work. He even deals with the "afterbirth" and puts it in a plastic bag when everything is over!
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